Mental Health Awareness Week – May 15th – May 21st
The official theme this year is Anxiety.
Helen Carouzos Psychology is offering Altrincham’s local businesses 15⁒ off a block of four 60 min confidential counselling or coaching sessions valued at £480.00 for just £408.00! Consultations can be for work and/or personal related issues which may be impacting your mental health and wellbeing which in turn can impair your life/work performance. This discounted price also extends to business owners who may want to offer these consultations to staff members.
Although anxiety, like many other emotions is normal, we all experience it in different ways. Anxiety is more of a future oriented mindset, where one might worry over things that might happen. Subsequently, we can feel uneasy/uncomfortable and whilst this can be normal, excessive worry over an extended period, can develop into an anxiety disorder which can significantly affect our daily functioning and quality of life.
According to Mental Health UK, 8 million people in the UK will experience an anxiety disorder. This is the equivalent of 1 in 10 people who will struggle with some type of anxiety disorder such as Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or phobias.
Whilst many of us have our own coping strategies, there are many of us who will struggle to effectively manage our stress/anxiety. These symptoms can include:
- Excessive worry.
- Feeling nervous, restless, on edge.
- Problems concentrating or thinking about anything else other than the current worry.
- Avoiding or having the urge to avoid anything that triggers anxiety.
- Consumed by a sense of danger, threat, or panic.
- Sleeping problems.
- Changes to appetite i.e., eating more or less than usual.
- Gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, IBS, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, bloating, fatigue.
- Feeling tired and weak.
- Shallow, rapid breathing.
- Increased heart rate
6 Top Tips for Managing Anxiety
- STOP, PAUSE & BREATHE when you feel your panic rising. Deep abdominal breathing or what is known as box breathing (i.e., breathing in for 4 seconds, hold for four seconds, exhale for four seconds and repeat until you feel you calm and back in control.
- GROUND yourself - Turn your attention to where you are and locate three objects you can see/touch, three things you can hear and/or three body parts you can move. This helps to divert attention away from the intense feeling of anxiety and towards something that is neutral/pleasant whilst noticing aspects of the object, sound or feeling of movement. For instance, focus on the pot plant on your coffee table, notice the colours, type of plant, its texture, whether there are new shoots growing, the pot itself etc. This mindful activity can give you the time and mind space you need, whilst doing your breathing to get to a place of calm and clarity moving forward
- COMMUNICATE – Reach out and have a chat or text some-one you can trust like a family member or friend. Sharing our thoughts and feelings can help us feel supported and possibly gain a different or more balanced perspective regarding our worry.
- SELF CARE – Looking after yourself during stressful/anxious times is imperative! Eating a balanced diet, keeping hydrated, regular exercise/physical activity, being positively connected with family/friends are all beneficial to our mental health and wellbeing. It’s when times are tough that we need to pay extra attention to our self-care. Neglecting our self-care can leave us feeling tired, unmotivated, irritable, lacking in concentration, affect our ability to make decisions and prioritise in our personal/work lives and can also lead to problems with our physical health. This can then further impact our mental health and wellbeing.
- KEEPING IT REAL - If your anxiety is intense and difficult to control, it may be a good idea to get clear about what you can change and control and what you can’t. This can help with getting your priorities in order and work/life balance right. Focusing on what you can change can help reduce the magnitude of the problem/worry whilst letting go of those aspects that are not up to you to change/control. This can help you change the way think and feel about your worry/stressful situation. When this happens your behaviour or your response is also more positive. Your issue might feel like it’s the end of the world, but is it? There is often a big difference between how things seem to us and how they really are. We can change the way we experience and manage stress when we start to believe we can make a difference.
- GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR CREATIVE SIDE – We can be so busy feeling anxious that we might not prioritise doing what helps us to relax and be in the moment. Some examples might be listening to your favourite music, drawing, painting, making something special for yourself or some-one else. What are you passionate about? Perhaps you’ve stopped doing those things that used to bring you joy, pleasure and/or sense of achievement.
If you would like to know more about our counselling and/or coaching services for better mental health and life performance, then please do get in touch with me on 07828470744 or via email at email@example.com for a free introductory call to discuss how we might work together.